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Strzelecki peaks

A famous heritage

Many people recall Count Pawel Strzelecki as being the first European to climb and name Mount Kosciuszko. Science remembers him for much more than this however.

His journey up to the Australian Alps in 1839/40 was part of his interest in tracing out the line of the Great Dividing Range as it ran down the east coast of NSW and Victoria.

On arriving in Gippsland and seeing how the chain of "mountains in the sea" extended across into Bass Strait, he determined to follow them south.

For the next two years, from his base in Launceston, Strzelecki explored nearly every part of Tasmania under the patronage of the Tasmanian Governor Sir John Franklin.

His chance to visit the Furneaux Group came when the famous survey ship the HMS Beagle under the command of Captain Stokes set out to make detailed charts of the western Bass Strait islands.

mount strzelecki

After Strzelecki climbed Flinders Island's highest rock outcrop (756m) on 13 January 1842, Capt Stokes recorded the event by naming the granite peak after him on the detailed chart he was then in the process of compiling.

1889 map

Today a strenuous 5hr return walk up Strzelecki Peaks following the approximate route taken by Strzelecki in 1842 provides one of the island's most memorable trail experiences.